The new Brazilian president, Michel Temer, travelled to Argentina and Paraguay yesterday. As reported in the Brazilian press, he is trying to boost commerce with both countries, especially with Argentina as it declined in the last years.
During his brief visits, he met Argentinian president Mauricio Macri, in the afternoon. One of the main subjects was about strengthening the Mercosur, Established in 1991, this regional South American bloc has had up and downs since then. Also during the meeting, both presidents signed papers to facilitate the commerce of small and medium companies and reminded the interest of attracting countries outside Latin America in trading with the bloc. Special attention was given to the European Union. The negotiations between Mercosur and EU started over ten years ago, but they never took off, mainly due to differences over the agricultural sector.
Argentina is one of the main Brazil’s business partners, alongside EUA and China, and Temer is trying to give special attention to this long date business partner. According to the consultancy Abeceb, bilateral commerce between both countries fell 46% in the last five years. Facing economic crisis, Temer mentioned that both countries have to tackle similar problems such as poverty and unemployment and they must work together to achieve its goals. Tackling organized crime, drug trafficking and terrorism were also part of the meeting agenda.
Later on, he flew to Paraguay, where he met president Horacio Cartes.
During Temer’s visit to Argentina, protesters gathered outside the president’s official residence, Quinta de Olivas, holding banners of “Fuera Temer” (Temer out). Mostly Brazilians, the protesters were showing their discontent regarding the way Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment was carried out, implying that Temer came into power through a coup.